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Restorative Justice - What Is It?

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Restorative Justice is the name given to the new concept in our criminal law focusing on the victim prior to the offender being sentenced.

If a person who commits an offence has pleaded to that offence or had been found guilty after a defended hearing then a Judge is required to impose penalty on the offender. This is known as the process of sentencing.

The Judge sentences the offender to a penalty

In less serious cases the Judge may impose penalty immediately. This might be the case for a first offence of drink driving, possession of cannabis, theft (shoplifting) or disorderly behaviour and a host of other minor charges.

But if the offence is more serious then the Judge will likely remand or adjourn the case for a couple of weeks to get a pre-sentence report. 

A pre-sentence report was previously called a probation report.

You may visit our Index Sites entitled  Plea In Mitigation  and Remand  to provide you more information about those related matters.

The Judge may also call for a Restorative Justice Report. This is a process that aims to put things right for the people who have been victims of offences.

It does this through a meeting between the victim and the offender and this meeting is called a Restorative Justice Conference.

At the conference the victim or victims can have their say and focus on their own needs.

The offender can say what they have done and also take responsibility for trying to put things right. The conference is quite safe and secure and private and run by a trained facilitator.

Victims and offenders are encouraged to have support people with them.

The conference is voluntary. It will take only if the victim and the offender agree to participate.

All parties are free to withdraw from the Restorative Justice process at any time.

The project concentrates on cases of more serious ad

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